BALTIMORE—(June 6, 2018)—MedStar Health’s three Baltimore City hospitals will offer free trainings in August to teach community members, employees and others who want to learn how to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, known as Narcan.
The free trainings, offered in partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, will be held in August on the campuses of MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor, and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals. Attendees learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, as well as deploy the life-saving treatment during such an emergent event.
Overdose deaths related to heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids reached a record high in the first nine months of 2017, according to the latest available state data. In Baltimore, 523 people overdosed between January and September, 80 more than the year before.
MedStar Health’s hospitals are committed to fighting the opioid epidemic. The free trainings follow a successful effort to screen patients for substance abuse in the emergency rooms and primary care clinics of MedStar Health’s four Baltimore area hospitals – MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospital. If patients are determined to be at risk for substance abuse, they are referred to a peer recovery coach and connected with resources to help them. The program, called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment program or SBIRT, has helped connect more than 3,600 patients to substance abuse treatment.
“Baltimore City is clearly the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and we feel a responsibility as a community organization to join with the city health department to prepare people to recognize an overdose event and use the medication to reverse it appropriately,” said Ryan B. Moran, the director of community health for MedStar Health’s three city hospitals. “We’re all in this fight together. We all need to do what we can to change the trajectory of this crisis.”
About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.